Cover

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Half title, Title page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Foreword

David Ruesink

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pp. vii-viii

This book captures the importance of churches that are found in cities and small towns throughout Texas. The beauty and uniqueness of the churches is portrayed by architect and illustrator Carl Christensen Jr. and further explained in the brief historical and architectural descriptions, ...

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Preface

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pp. ix-xii

As the six flags that flew over Texas help define its history, the hundreds of Texas churches recognized by historic markers help define the culture, heritage, religion, and architectural identities of the people of Texas. Lone Star Steeples takes the reader on a tour of historic churches across the state. ...

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Lost Churches and Road Warriors

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pp. xiii-xiv

For all the hours spent in solitude with pen and paint, a book like this couldn’t happen without a wide variety of people and a bit of wheels-on-the-road travel. Researching churches usually includes discovering the stories of people involved in those churches, or at least in the church’s region. ...

Part 1. Historic Churches of the Texas Gulf Coast

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p. 1

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Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church, Galveston

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pp. 2-3

If distinguished labels earned a church an award, Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church in Galveston would be the worthy recipient. Oldest German Catholic church in Texas; oldest wooden church building in Galveston; one of the four oldest church buildings in Galveston; ...

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Reedy Chapel African Methodist Episcopal

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pp. 4-5

“History is on Reedy Chapel’s side,” declared an article in the Houston Chronicle in 2008. “It is a history laced with struggle and rebirth.” The congregation of Reedy Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, located at Twentieth and Broadway in Galveston, ...

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Grace Episcopal Church, Galveston

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pp. 6-7

A refuge, sanctuary, and survivor. Grace Episcopal Church in Galveston has earned all those titles. Organized in 1874 as a “mission church” of Trinity Episcopal in Galveston, Grace served as Sunday school for children who “lived out in the country”—a few miles across the island. ...

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Church of the Guardian Angel, Wallis

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pp. 8-9

At the one hundredth anniversary celebration of Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Celebrant Daniel Cardinal DiNardo commended the church body for the “faith, commitment, and sacrifice of the parish founders who built three churches over a period of twenty years, after storms destroyed earlier structures.” ...

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Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, Houston

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pp. 10-11

Antioch Missionary Baptist Church holds the honor of being Houston’s first African American Baptist church and the first brick structure owned by African Americans in Houston. ...

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Annunciation Catholic Church, Houston

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pp. 12-13

Victorian-era architect Nicholas Clayton, known for his elegant churches and prominent buildings in Galveston, including Bishop’s Palace, was awarded the contract for Church of the Annunciation in the late 1800s. The church is the oldest existing Catholic church in Houston. ...

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Christ Episcopal Church, Matagorda

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pp. 14-15

Deemed the oldest Episcopal church in Texas, Christ Episcopal owes its beginning to the Reverend Caleb S. Ives who was appointed missionary to the Republic of Texas in 1838. ...

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First Presbyterian Church, Orange

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pp. 16-18

Magnificent, majestic, stately, grand, beautiful, lavish—all describe First Presbyterian Church in Orange, which was built for the purpose of “glorifying God.” First Presbyterian claims many unique distinctions. ...

Part 2. Historic Churches of East Texas

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p. 19

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Zion Hill Baptist Church, Nacogdoches

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pp. 20-21

Movement for the eye, numeric symbolism in the window placements, strong Gothic elements of light and towers, historic significance in the area—all are featured in Zion Hill First Baptist Church of Nacogdoches. ...

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Old North Baptist Church, Nacogdoches

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pp. 22-23

“The oldest active missionary Baptist church” in Texas, the Old North Church in Nacogdoches started as a gathering of settlers from various religious denominations. Founding credit goes to Mrs. Massey Sparks Millard, who arrived in Texas in 1832. ...

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Christ Episcopal Church, San Augustine

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pp. 24-25

Frances Cox Henderson, the wife of Texas’ first governor, James Pinckney Henderson, was accomplished in many ways—fluent in eighteen languages, involved in civic work and women’s suffrage, educated in the law to help run her husband’s law office, and credited with establishing individual Episcopalian congregations in East Texas. ...

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Jerusalem Memorial Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, San Augustine

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pp. 26-27

Recognized as the oldest black church of record in the state of Texas, Jerusalem Memorial CME Church had its roots in a small one-room house with a round top. The building also served as a school. Two slaves known as Sutton and Bartlett were granted preaching licenses for the Methodist Episcopal Church South in 1845. ...

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Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Jefferson

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pp. 28-29

Standing tall, large, and distinguished, the Cumberland Presbyterian Church (formerly known as First Presbyterian Church) in Jefferson once mirrored the prosperous town at the height of the steamboat era and once boasted the largest congregation in Texas. ...

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Union Missionary Baptist Church, Jefferson

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pp. 30-31

Seeing Union Missionary Baptist Church as it is today, standing in a Jefferson residential neighborhood with rotting wood and peeling paint, denies the rich heritage and cultural role of this church in the history of East Texas. ...

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First United Methodist Church, Pittsburg

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pp. 32-33

With the combined help of architect James E. Flanders (1849–1928) and the rapid growth of Pittsburg’s business district and its conversion from wood buildings to brick, First United Methodist Church boasts a blend of Gothic and Prairie style architecture. ...

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Reeves Chapel, Pittsburg

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pp. 34-35

If you ask for directions to Reeves Chapel, you may hear, “Oh it’s on the way to Ferndale,” or “Just turn at the mortuary and go a couple of miles and then turn again on Farm Road 1590.” Set apart from the town of Pittsburg, Reeves Chapel offers another unique look at Texas settlers. ...

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Saint Beulah Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Pittsburg

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pp. 36-37

Saint Beulah Christian Methodist Episcopal Church was recognized by the Texas Historical Commission and awarded an official historical marker in 1985. The white wood-frame building is a model of Gothic Revival-style architecture. ...

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Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Palestine

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pp. 38-39

The City of Palestine hosted the state firemen’s convention in 1890. Even with all the firemen in attendance, the wooden structure of Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church burned to the ground. Saint Joseph, the patron saint of workingmen, was a fitting name for the church built in 1873 on land donated by the International- Great Northern Railroad. ...

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First Presbyterian Church, Palestine

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pp. 40-43

Palestine’s First Presbyterian Church boasted several firsts in the city: first church bazaar, first church wired for electricity, first church building with glass windows, and first pipe organ. ...

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Shelby Chapel, Athens

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pp. 44-45

Unassuming in its edifice and humble in its surroundings, the Shelby Chapel traces the descendants of James Madison Shelby who settled in Texas in the 1870s. A native of North Carolina, Shelby moved his large family to Texas from Alabama and established a Presbyterian church, Morrison Chapel, named after the minister at the time. ...

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Saint Joseph Catholic Church, New Waverly

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pp. 46-48

The story of Saint Joseph Catholic Church builds on the history of Polish immigration to Texas. Formed by a group of Waverly planters, the Waverly Emigration Society, with the help of a Polish merchant and his connections in Poland, imported laborers in 1866 to work their farms. ...

Part 3. Historic Churches of North Central Texas

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p. 49

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Saint Olaf Lutheran Church, Cranfills Gap

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pp. 50-51

“Both religion and architecture provided a sense of stability, emotional security, and social continuity to immigrants.”1 Saint Olaf Lutheran Church, known today as the Old Rock Church, near Cranfills Gap aptly fit that description for the Norwegian settlers in Bosque County. ...

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Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Norse

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pp. 52-53

After thirty years of establishing Norwegian communities throughout the United States, Cleng Peerson, father of Norwegian immigration to America, finally settled in Bosque County. Eventually he was joined by thousands of Norwegian settlers, creating the largest Norwegian community in the Southwest. ...

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Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church, Hamilton

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pp. 54-55

Dancing in the small-town Texas church during the 1940s? A story told about Saint Mary’s reports on a dance in the church parsonage, sponsored by the USO. Town citizens were shocked that the church would host the dancing. ...

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Emanuel Lutheran Church, Dallas

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pp. 56-57

Emanuel Lutheran Church at the corner of Peak and San Jacinto streets in Dallas stands unique among the Evangelical Lutheran Churches of America due to its age, its diversity, and its focus on ministering to the inner city. In 1956, fifty years after its founding, the congregation faced a decision: ...

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First Presbyterian Church, Bonham

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pp. 58-59

In 1885, when Bonham’s First Presbyterian Church was built, mass production and railroad transportation partnered to provide rural churches access to building materials—materials that offered creative and aesthetic options. ...

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First United Methodist Church, Royse City

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pp. 60-61

The official state historical marker for First United Methodist Church in Royse City describes the church architecture in this way: “J. E. Flanders, a well-known Dallas architect, designed the frame structure with three prominent entry towers and decorative shingling.” ...

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Saint Paul United Church of Christ, Marlin

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pp. 62-63

German settlers organized the Saint Paul Evangelical Lutheran Congregation in 1894. Reverend F. W. Ernst Hartmann led the church. In 1896 the congregants built a school, and the first resident minister, Rev. Dr. Samuel D. Press, later became head of Eden Seminary in St. Louis. ...

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First United Methodist Church, Marlin

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pp. 64-65

Before the formal establishment of Marlin as a city, Methodist circuit riders served the people in the area. The first, the Reverend John W. DeVilbiss, arrived in 1842. Others followed until 1874 when the Reverend Charles Brown received the appointment as full-time pastor of the Methodist congregation. ...

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Saint Peter Catholic Church, Lindsay

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pp. 66-67

“The truths of the Catholic Faith are handed down to each successive generation, and with the heritage of Faith, the responsibility of caring for the church in which the Faith is manifested and sustained.”5 From their first celebration of mass as a congregation, the members of Saint Peter Catholic Church in Lindsay dutifully accepted their role to care for and sustain the church. ...

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Temple Beth-El, Corsicana

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pp. 68-69

It was the arrival of the Houston and Central Texas Railroad in 1871 that propelled Corsicana into a thriving economic center and also encouraged the arrival of more Jewish people to the area. The railroads provided an easy way to transport merchandise, which, in turn, encouraged the increase of Jewish merchants. ...

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McKenzie United Methodist Church, Honey Grove

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pp. 70-71

McKenzie United Methodist Church in Honey Grove stands today just as it was completed in 1911. The church was designed by John James Flanders and his cousin James Edward Flanders. James Edward Flanders was a well-known church architect in Texas, specializing mainly in Methodist churches. ...

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Our Merciful Saviour Episcopal Church, Kaufman

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pp. 72-74

Tucked on a street corner in Kaufman stands an unassuming frame church—simple lines, a green exterior merging into the surrounding grass and gardens, and a red door inviting entry. Our Merciful Saviour Episcopal Church, the little green church, stands as an enduring testimony to the love of one man for his wife, ...

Part 4. Historic Churches of South Central Texas

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p. 75

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Church of the Visitation, Westphalia

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pp. 76-77

The sturdy German settlers, looking for good soil to farm, learned from the hard lessons Texas weather dished out. They named their community Westphalia after their home province in Germany. Ten acres of land were quickly purchased for a school and church. ...

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Wesley Brethren Church, Wesley

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pp. 78-79

The simplicity of the white frame church building gives no hint of the intricate paintings and rich history behind the door. Wesley Brethren Church housed the first congregation in Texas of the Czech-Moravian Brethren. The Protestant Czechs immigrated to Texas in the 1850s and named their settlement Veseli (Wesley), ...

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Independence Baptist Church, Independence

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pp. 80-81

Independence Baptist Church holds the title of the oldest, continuously active Baptist church in Texas. Organized in August 1839 by the Reverend Thomas Spraggins and a small group of Baptists, the total membership that year grew to fifteen. Independence Baptist was a strong supporter of missionary work during the Republic of Texas. ...

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Liberty Baptist Church, Independence

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pp. 82-83

In the South following the Civil War, a mass movement occurred of African Americans leaving white-controlled churches to establish their own churches. Such was the case with the congregation of Liberty Baptist, made up of African Americans who had strong ties with Independence Baptist Church. ...

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Saint James Episcopal Church, LaGrange

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pp. 84-85

The story of Saint James Church in La Grange lies in its tenacity of spirit and its perseverance in times of adversity. Through the years, the challenges have included a yellow fever epidemic that killed half of the church membership, devastating floods on the Colorado River, ...

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First Christian Church, Lockhart

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pp. 86-87

“Like many historical churches, First Christian Church began in 1852 not with a building but a belief, and members met in a Masonic Hall.”1 Seven members met to start First Christian. The first sanctuary was constructed in 1858, and the church membership soon outgrew the facility. ...

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Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Lockhart

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pp. 88-89

Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Lockhart might summon adjectives of quaint, charming, and cozy. None of those would aptly describe the bold construction and the historic title this church holds. ...

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Saint Mary's Church, Praha

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pp. 90-91

The painted churches of Texas reveal the passion of nineteenth-century immigrants who left behind European culture, customs, and centuries of treasured art and architecture to live on untamed frontier land. The churches’ exterior facades do not hint of the visual feast of design, color, ...

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Saints Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church, Dubina

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pp. 92-93

As if the fourteen-week, cross-Atlantic trip followed by a ferry ride up Buffalo Bayou and then a five-day ox-cart ride wasn’t enough to discourage the settlers from Moravia, certainly when they reached their destination that night in November 1856, sleeping under an oak grove while enduring a Texas sleet storm should have been. ...

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Saint Mary's Catholic Church, Plantersville

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pp. 94-95

Seventy families comprised the first Catholic parish in Plantersville in 1894. Catholic priests had visited Plantersville for the first time in 1860, and the Catholics met in the home of James Kelly Markey until 1873 when the first building was constructed. ...

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Saint Paul Lutheran Church, Serbin

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pp. 96-98

From the exterior, Saint Paul Lutheran Church in Serbin looks plain, almost austere. On the inside, it’s another story, and the beautiful display of color proves why Saint Paul is recognized as one of Texas’ painted churches. ...

Part 5. Historic Churches of the Hill Country

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p. 99

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Hilda United Methodist Church, Mason

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pp. 100-101

In the 1800s, Hilda, formerly known as the community of Beaver Creek, was on the edge of the frontier. Native American tribes frequently raided the small community named by the first postmistress, Emma Schulze. Supplies were short and required travel to Fredericksburg, thirty-five miles away. ...

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Saint Mary's Catholic Church, Fredericksburg

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pp. 102-103

Deeply rooted in Fredericksburg’s German history, Saint Mary’s Catholic Church is the evolution of three separate church buildings. The Catholics forming Saint Mary’s first met in Fredericksburg’s public building, Vereins-Kirche, which served as the first school, town hall, and place of worship for all religious groups. ...

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Zion Lutheran Church, Fredericksburg

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pp. 104-105

With luminarias lining the walkway, white lights outlining the building, and a simple, bright star adorning the top, Zion Lutheran Church glows bright and brilliant during the Advent season. The tradition of luminarias originated in Spain, where people lit bonfires along roadsides and churchyards to lead the way to midnight Mass or to commemorate the journey of the Holy Family. ...

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Trinity United Methodist Church, Castell

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pp. 106-107

The story of Castell’s historic Methodist church started with a Methodist circuit rider, willing to brave the elements and dangers of frontier life to serve people. The Reverend Charles A. Grote, assigned to the Methodist Episcopal Church South in Fredericksburg, often traveled by horseback to the Llano River Valley to minister to German settlers in the area. ...

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Saint Louis Catholic Church, Castroville

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pp. 108-109

Following in the tradition of French colonial communities, Saint Louis Catholic Church in Castroville opens to a central, public community space. In communities like this, a church’s location reflected “the hierarchical importance of religion to Texas societies,” ...

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Grace Episcopal Church, LLano

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pp. 110-111

In 1859, fourteen years before Llano County’s last Native American fight—a skirmish known as the Packsaddle Mountain Fight—one faithful couple had observed daily services for three years from the Episcopalian Book of Common Prayer. Unknown to them, they had established the roots of what would become Grace Episcopal Church. ...

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New Sweden Evangelical Lutheran Church, New Sweden

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pp. 112-113

Pastor Hans Lilleford of New Sweden Evangelical Lutheran Church calls the church the “most photographed church in Texas.” Certainly the church is a notable landmark of Travis County. Its 104-foot copper steeple can be seen for miles in the rolling hills and pasture land surrounding the church. ...

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Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Quihi

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pp. 114-115

Quihi is a ghost town, but it was once a thriving community of French settlers thanks to Frenchman Henri Castro. Castro became an American citizen and land entrepreneur after he was appointed French consul at Providence, Rhode Island. ...

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Polly's Chapel, Bandera

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pp. 116-117

Polly’s Chapel, located about sixteen miles outside of Bandera, celebrates one man’s faith and commitment to the land and community where he lived. ...

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Saint Stanislaus Catholic Church, Bandera

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pp. 118-119

When the Polish Silesians arrived in San Antonio in December 1854, Father Leopold Moczygemba guided them to the place he had selected, now known as Panna Maria. However, the settlers heard news about Bandera, which had a sawmill and jobs. ...

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Saint John Lutheran Church, Crabapple

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pp. 120-121

Only three structures remain in the ghost town that was once the community of Crabapple: the Crabapple School, Saint John’s Lutheran Church, and a brush arbor. The history of the church is intricately woven from the other two. ...

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Art United Methodist Church, Art

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pp. 122-123

Art United Methodist Church is “one of the finest examples of the German settlers’ churches” built in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. It represents the solid stone construction characteristic of German Texas settlements and was built by German Texas stonemasons.3 ...

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First United Methodist Church, San Marcos

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pp. 124-125

San Marcos and First United Methodist Church shared birthing process pains. Early settlers bought the Juan Martín Veramendi land grant for the town, and early settlers founded the church. ...

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Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church, New Braunfels

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pp. 126-127

According to legend, a tribal chief ’s daughter had a vision beneath the spreading branches of an old oak tree on the north side of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church—a vision that helped free German settlers in Texas from the wrath of the Native Americans. ...

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First United Methodist Church, Bartlett

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pp. 128-129

Destroyed by a storm in 1894 and rebuilt that same year; destroyed by fire in 1896 and rebuilt again, First United Methodist Church of Bartlett could be knocked down, but not out. Originally known as the Indian Creek Church, the congregation moved to Bartlett between 1883 and 1885. ...

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Wesley African Methosist Episcopal Church, Georgetown

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pp. 130-132

In the late 1860s, the African Methodist Episcopal Church assigned a group of fifteen men with little education to do missionary work in Texas. The men rode their ponies and preached across the state. One of those men, Richard Robert Haywood, was assigned to Austin and the surrounding area including Georgetown. ...

Part 6. Historic Churches of South Texas

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p. 133

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San Fernando Cathedral, San Antonio

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pp. 134-135

Majestic in its façade, regal in its role as guardian of the city square, San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio is the oldest active cathedral in the United States. It’s also the oldest standing church building in Texas; the walls of the original church form the current sanctuary. ...

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Mission San José, San Antonio

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pp. 136-137

One of the five Spanish missions in San Antonio, Mission San José was “viewed as the model among the Texas missions and gained a reputation as a major social and cultural center. It became known as the ‘Queen of the Missions.’”1 ...

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Immaculate Conception Church, Panna Maria

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pp. 138-139

“Come to Texas; life is good here.” However the invitation was worded in his letters home, Father Leopold Moczygemba’s open invitation to fellow Poles in the area of Silesia appealed to them. Conditions in 1850s Poland encouraged their thoughts of leaving: a poor economy, series of severe weather disasters, ...

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La Lomita Chapel, Mission

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pp. 140-142

The little chapel of La Lomita, torn down and rebuilt, damaged by neglect and a hurricane, and finally restored and preserved in a historic park, played a big role in the development of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. ...

Part 7. Historic Churches of West Texas and the Panhandle

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p. 143

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Saint John United Methodist Church, Stamford

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pp. 144-145

For years Saint John United Methodist Church in Stamford boasted that its one hundred foot tower was the tallest between El Paso and Dallas. But Saint John’s has more important credentials than its tower. ...

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Saint Stephen's Episcopal Church, Fort Stockton

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pp. 146-147

Scheduled for demolition in 1956, it appeared that Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church would not be around for recognition with a historical marker. But the historic little church, known as the oldest existing Protestant church west of the Pecos River, was spared, thanks to a simple question. ...

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United Methodist Church, Channing

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pp. 148-150

In the Panhandle of Texas, where the dust is plentiful and the rain scarce, Channing owes its roots to the founding of the XIT Ranch, once one of the largest cattle ranches in Texas. Channing served as general headquarters and supplier for the XIT. ...

Notes

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pp. 151-152

Glossary of Architectural Terms

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pp. 153-154

Bibliography

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pp. 155-162

Back cover

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